A polarized multispectral imaging system for quantitative assessment of hypertrophic scars

Biomed Opt Express. 2014 Sep 2;5(10):3337-54. doi: 10.1364/BOE.5.003337. eCollection 2014 Oct 1.


Hypertrophic scars (HTS) are a pathologic reaction of the skin and soft tissue to burn or other traumatic injury. Scar tissue can cause patients serious functional and cosmetic issues. Scar management strategies, specifically scar assessment techniques, are vital to improve clinical outcome. To date, no entirely objective method for scar assessment has been embraced by the medical community. In this study, we introduce for the first time, a novel polarized multispectral imaging system combining out-of-plane Stokes polarimetry and Spatial Frequency Domain Imaging (SFDI). This imaging system enables us to assess the pathophysiology (hemoglobin, blood oxygenation, water, and melanin) and structural features (cellularity and roughness) of HTS. To apply the proposed technique in an in vivo experiment, dermal wounds were created in a porcine model and allowed to form into scars. The developed scars were then measured at various time points using the imaging system. Results showed a good agreement with clinical Vancouver Scar Scale assessment and histological examinations.

Keywords: (110.0110) Imaging systems; (110.4234) Multispectral and hyperspectral imaging.